Lawyers’ duties extend beyond the courtroom. Defense attorneys, for example, aid clients from the day they’re hired. They void warrants, ensure proper protection from abusive police questioning, and they can attempt to have a criminal case thrown out altogether. Protection from a defense lawyer begins immediately. That’s a formula that works – because a lawyer must earn a client’s trust in order to compose a winning case.

This is essential, because a lawyer and client must work as a team. Judges tend to lend more leniency to collaborative lawyer, and juries are more persuaded by lawyers and clients who work closely. Moreover, clients can place trust in their lawyer, since lawyers are held up to a standard of conduct rendered by the American Bar Association (ABA). According to the ABA’s standards, lawyers must not:

Violate the Standard of Conduct

Simply put, lawyers cannot violate any of the rules laid out here.

Commit a Crime That Undermines a Lawyer’s Honesty

Lawyers are expected to maintain a standard of honesty, and committing any criminal acts that forego that honesty can result in the lawyer being disbarred.

Engage in a Dishonest Act – Including Fraud, Deceit, or Misrepresentation

Again, lawyers are held to a standard of honesty. Therefore, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in the courtroom undermines that honesty.

Imply or Act on the Ability to Improperly Influence a Government Official or Agency

Bribery is a good example of improper influence of an official. Lawyers are expected to conduct themselves honestly with government officials.

Assist a Judge in Committing Conduct Violations or Law Violations

If a lawyer and a judge collaborate to commit a violation, both parties will be disciplined, and possibly disbarred.

These standards are in place to lend authority to a lawyer. Any lawyer – defense or prosecution – gains validity and trust by adhering to these rules. And that trust may be relied on by clients, juries, and judges alike.